Although Puerto Rico’s retail sales registered a 14% increase in 2018, it has seen a 4% drop so far this year, which is why the sector emphasized the importance of the government’s decision to pay the Christmas bonus to public employees.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez confirmed this week that public employees will receive their stipend, which totals $60 million.
That payment, coupled with the special Nutritional Assistance Program funds, may boost holiday sales, which will benefit the entire economy, members of the Retail Trade Association (known as ACDET for its initials in Spanish) said.
In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, which officially kicks off with Black Friday, the ACDET signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Consumer Affairs (known as DACO for its initials in Spanish) and number of other government agencies to “effectively manage and coordinate” safe shopping activities.
“As in previous years, we wish to inform in advance the details of the long-awaited Black Friday sales. This way, we’ll be able to have a more alert and better informed consumer when going out to their selected stores to participate in this long-awaited and traditional event on the island, ”said Iván Báez, president of ACDET.
“We renew the successful agreement that we have achieved for the past five years, so that each customer is satisfied with their shopping experience during Black Friday, which takes place on and after Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season,” he said.
“It should be noted that several shops will open Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) and will honor the same Black Friday (Nov. 29) prices, which stores will announce closer to the date,” he added.
As part of the collaborative agreement, government agencies such as the Family Department, the Public Safety Bureau and the House of Representatives witnessed the signing of the MOU and expressed their commitment to collaborate and ensure the safety of consumers and the minors that parents take to the sales.
DACO Secretary Carmen Salgado said the agency has already held meetings with the main retailers and Family Department and Police Department representatives to “ensure consumer rights, safety and support businesses, so service expectations and availability of merchandise are met, according to current regulations,” she said.
“We urge consumers to attend the Black Friday sales. At DACO, we have been working closely with businesses to ensure that a fair and consumer-friendly market is provided,” Salgado said.
“DACO will be on the street ensuring compliance with our regulations and adequately and effectively addressing any situation that arises during early bird sales,” she said, adding that the goal is to achieve consumer satisfaction during holiday sales, avoid deceptive practices, stimulate retailer compliance with DACO’s regulations and minimize the number of complaints.